We are feeling giddy today – our first publication, Lydia Unsworth’s Mortar, is now available to preorder on the Osmosis website! Scroll down for a preview of the collection.
‘Unsworth has built a memorable collection in Mortar. We are thrown into a variation of tightly fisted prose poems which loosen into a confident dance of poetic forms. “My nothingness is manmade” – and indeed the poems make use of architecture and psychology to create a quiet, unnerving intimacy within a domestic space haunted by vivid images and memories. Through a forceful first-person voice, the book investigates the multiple layering of the self, the body, and their vulnerabilities’ – Kit Fan
‘In the essay “Slow Death”, Lauren Berlant considers that “agency can be an activity of maintenance, not making”, to withstand unequal infrastructures set up to dominate and corrode. Lydia Unsworth’s collection Mortar is about as radical a poetics of maintenance as I can think of. It tunes its attention to materials, structures, and forms of getting by as well as the incursions that make so frequently such a task: Bakelite, dangling sofas on cranes, baths falling through ceilings, moulding bicycle seats, bus shelter overhangs, shrink wrap, and sun tanned hands. Unsworth’s poems wrap and envelop, touch and lean, shelter and protect. I don’t ever want to leave the stunning language structures of this book which is just as well because the five mattresses by the door would make it quite a squeeze.’ – Colin Herd
‘The mortar of bodies, relationships (emotional and economic) and domestic spaces binds these extraordinary poems’ diverse materials into a pleasingly unsettling whole.’ – James Knight
Lydia Unsworth has published two collections of poetry: Certain Manoeuvres (KFS Press, 2018) and Nostalgia for Bodies (2018 Erbacce Poetry Prize), and two pamphlets. Her latest pamphlet YIELD (KFS) and her debut novel Distant Hills (Atlatl Press) came out in 2020. Recent work can be found in Ambit, SPAM, Bath Magg, Blackbox Manifold, and The Interpreter’s House.